Phaedra Parks Good for BFing Moms or not?
So the season finale for the Real Housewives of Atlanta ended with the marriage of Cynthia Bailey and Peter Thomas. This season introduced two new women, Cynthia Bailey and Phaedra Parks.
Watching Phaedra was, quite honestly, the most disturbing thing. She began the season a very pregnant woman who claimed her baby was fully developed and ready to be born at 7 months gestation. She claimed her doctor was ready and willing to induce her. Her cast mates, along with every experienced mother scoffed at such incredulous claims. The unchangeable fact, since the induction of birth, is; it takes 38 weeks (40 EDD) for a baby to develop and survive unaided out of the womb. But, apparently these rules don’t apply to Phaedra. We find out later in the season that she was at term and delivered a full term baby. Her reason for “bending” the rules was simply the fact that she hails from a religious home where there can be no babies without marriage.
As outrageous as her ready-to-be born at 7 months claim was, it pales in comparison to the lack of preparation & knowledge she presented to the viewers. Equating childbirth with death, her lack of knowledge was appalling and inexcusable as an educated attorney.
I mean seriously, you can pass the bar exam, but you can’t educate yourself on birth choices? Life with a new baby? The simple fact that she expected everyone, including experienced moms to buy her ready-to-be-born at seven months BS screamed ignorance in the highest.
I was simply horrified at the information she presented. I had to do serious interference with my 16 year old daughter, even though I’ve been very active in teaching her about the woman’s birthing body. Apparently I did a pretty good job in teaching her, as she gasped and shook her head at every uneducated comment Phaedra made!
What about other new moms or young girls who don’t have that referee? Who’s running interference for them? I seethed at the thought that new moms and young girls were walking away from the television with a negative outlook on pregnancy and birth. Especially when the pregnancy and birth statistics for black moms are abysmal at best. She had the perfect opportunity to share her pregnancy/birth and the journey she was on in a way that presented a confident, informed decision. Unfortunately, she was too caught up in her own personal drama of saving face. What I didn’t understand is how an educated attorney would think that saving face on national television would ever work out well…
If you watched the season of RHOA, you’ll know she was ousted by her doctor…in front of her mother! What wasted energy! It would have been so much better if she just stayed of the camera. Why couldn’t she wait until the next season to do RHOA?
But when her baby was born, you can see the “touched by an angel” change that transform a woman into a mother. Although she called her beautiful baby boy “gross” upon seeing him for the first time, she did make the choice to breastfeed him. We saw tears streaming down her face as she had to leave behind her sweetie to go to work for the first time since she’s had him. And as a breastfeeding mom, I did feel a connection to her then. And then she won me over (a little) when she proclaimed her love for her new figure and “lactating breasts”. I admit, my bosom swelled with milk and pride. I loved how she embraced her woman/mother assets…but then I remembered…everyone thinks she’s nuts, so how does this bode well for mothers with lactating breasts??
As a black, woman breastfeeding (still??), I really hope she recognizes her position of visibility & handles it with more care than she did during her first season in RHOA. And I HOPE her brief stint of cray-cray did not affect the way others look at breastfeeding moms.